August 10th, 2009


Regional West Medical Center

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their prayers and concern on my behalf as this serious situation has finally subsided into a recovery process.  I will be released from the hospital tomorrow after having finally dumped enough antibiotics and steroids into me to get an upper hand on this deteriorating leg.  The bottom line is that they don’t know what it is but treating it as a chemical burn has stopped the progression.  They were very concerned during the first 24 hours that I might have necrotizing fasciitis and if you look at photos on the internet of that disease and then compare it to my leg a couple of days ago, they look almost the same, so I can understand their concern. I am looking forward to getting back out on the trail and start walking again and making the last 650 miles or so.  The cart is approaching Chimney Rock tomorrow and I want to be there to pull through that segment since it was such a pivital landmark on the trail.  It was considered half way home if you were traveling from the Missouri River, but since I started 300 miles earlier, I am well beyond half way.  The most difficult part of the trek is yet to come upon leaving Casper, WY and heading towards Independence Rock, Martins Cove, South Pass, Fort Bridger and then the Salt Lake Valley.  That is what I am looking forward to because the great majority of the trek will be on original dirt two rut trails.  There will also


be sections where I won’t be able to have escorts follow me because of BLM restrictions and so I will be on my own for a period of time and will have to load about an additional 75-100# of gear onto my cart that will carry my tent, food, water, bedding, etc.  Someone said that it has already snowed in the tops of the Rockies a couple of days ago and I have no doubt that I will get dusted on, just as the first handcart company did, before I reach the valley.

So… I have gained a couple of pounds recouperating here in the hospital.  I have eaten almost everything that I could get my hands on and then I have the nurses bring me a cup of ice cream every time that they walk by my door because those wonderful tastes will soon be eliminated and I’ll be back to biscuits and jerky.  As each day goes by, I feel so privileged to be able to recreate this trek and to endure some of the trials that they did so many years ago.  You can be the worlds best historian and not truly understand on a personal basis how difficult it was emotionally and physically until you walk the walk.  Once again, I wouldn’t be able to complete this trek without the love and support of so many that have taken an interest in this epic adventure… thank you…